Fluoride & Sealants
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coating your teeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the surface of your teeth.
Fluoride Comes in Two Varieties – Topical and Systemic
Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth and includes toothpastes and mouth rinses and professional fluoride treatments. At Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry we generally apply a topical fluoride varnish at every cleaning appointment.
Systemic (pill-form) fluorides are generally prescribed by your dentist or pediatrician in communities where inadequate fluoride exists in the water supply, as is the case in many communities in the greater Wichita area. Please consult the team at Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry in order to assess your child's need for a systemic fluoride prescription.
About Fluoride Treatments at Tiny Teeth
A fluoride treatment at Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, your child may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 10 to 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or our recommendation, your child may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. We may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse.
How to Choose the Right Fluoride Product
When choosing your own at-home fluoride product (such as toothpaste or mouthwash), always check for the American Dental Association's (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with this seal have been carefully examined by the ADA, and approved based on safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth and smile bright with dental fluoride treatments!
The Benefits of Sealants for Your Child's Teeth
Normal pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth can trap food that can't be removed by brushing or washed out by water or saliva. A sealant is a tough, plastic material designed to bond (stick) to tooth enamel and cover of the pits and grooves.
Sealants are a clear or tooth-colored material that is painted onto the tooth surface to "seal" the pits and grooves and protect against decay. They are generally applied to children's first permanent back teeth but are beneficial in any tooth with deep grooves and a high risk of cavities.
Sealants are an excellent way to protect chewing surfaces of teeth from decay. They are a much better financial investment than treating decay after it has started.
Sealants are not permanent. They generally last about five to ten years with normal wear but can wear off or chip off earlier in certain instances. Also, sealants do not prevent decay between teeth or the onset of gum disease, so regular home care and dental visits are important.